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The Artist & His Art

Known as one of the most prominent Jewish artists, Chagall was born in Vitebsk, Byelorussia, to a poor, Jewish-Hassidic family. Much of Chagall’s art was influenced by early 20th Century French painting, and demonstrated a synthesis of various art forms of the day, such as Cubism, Symbolism, and Fauvism. Yet, his work is not regarded as a reflection of any one known art form, and the style he developed is generally regarded as uniquely his own.

Form and style of much of his paintings made use of strong and bright colors and simple imagery, giving his paintings a dreamlike, and non-real quality. Common themes ingrained in many of his works include: religion, fantasy and Chagall’s personal childhood nostalgia. Growing up, the artist’s life was enmeshed in Eastern European Jewish folk culture, and the resulting memories became very important to him. His preoccupation with these childhood experiences is immediately apparent in many of his paintings, as they often contained figures such as animals, workmen, lovers, and musicians. The fiddler on the roof is an example of a figure that shows up in a number of Chagall’s works.

In his paintings, Chagall made use of oils, water colors, and gouaches. He also worked with other media, including ceramics, mosaics, and stained glass. He created a number of famous building decorations, including the ceiling of the Opera House in Paris, murals at the New York Metropolitan Opera, a glass window at the United Nations, wall decorations at the Knesset in Israel, and the well-known twelve stained glass windows at Hadassah Hospital which is also in Israel.

In the Classroom

Here’s a fun art lesson idea from Cindy Ingram that will have kids creating Chagall-inspired works. It’s a great activity for those days when you and the class just need something fun and creative to do. Think of it as high quality art class comfort food: it doesn’t require that your kids learn a new technique; it’s fun; its formulaic instructions mean kids can go from zero to creative very quickly; and it’s quick, which means kids can experience start-to-finish-in-a-single-period instant gratification.

Making Art with Kids: Chagall-Inspired Drawings

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marc\_Chagall  http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/marc-chagall  http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/marc-chagall

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